Bonnie writes us about emphysema and green smoothies

I met Bonnie at my lecture near Baltimore. What a delight she is, a caretaker to her husband with emphysema. We got this email from her. (And I love to read the stories you send my way, so keep sending them!) Bonnie told me she knows diet won’t “cure” emphysema. I said, “But what if it gives you more years with Bob, and he was happier and healthier?”

I think you’ll enjoy this letter Bonnie wrote as our East-Coast friends hunkered down to get through the hurricane:

As I wait for Hurricane Sandy to slam into the east coast, I have been reading The Green Smoothies Diet.  I attended Robyn’s seminar/class last week in Edgewood, Maryland. I had the great pleasure of meeting Robyn after the class. What a warm and sweet spirit!

Since that night I have read 12 Steps To Whole Foods, given up anything containing aspartame (including my 6-pack-a-day diet gingerale addiction), and added sufficient water to my daily life.

I have begun to purge our kitchen of processed foods and anything containing MSG. I was already on the green smoothie train. I have added Steps 2, 3, and 4 from 12 Steps to Whole Foods to my life.

I talked with Robyn about my 3-year journey down from almost 300 pounds through Overeater’s Anonymous. I am no longer on the 100-pound roller coaster I have ridden for most of my life. God has allowed me to release 88 pounds. (I say “released” because saying “lost” implies I am going to look for them.)

God has led me from bingeing and food compulsion, to green smoothies and whole foods, towards health and well being.

There was a time when I would eat 4+ fast-food “meal deals” on my way to or from work.  I would then look for somewhere to throw away the trash so no one would know.  Food was my cocaine….my drug of choice.

Now God has brought me to this new phase of my life.  He did not do this just for me, but also for my husband who has advanced emphysema.  His diet consisted of sugar, pasta, beef and junk.  Why? Because those white flour / sugar products are SOFT.  It is difficult for him to chew, swallow, and breathe.  Eating salad was a major challenge for him.

He had his first green smoothie about 6 weeks ago, and every day since.  His favorite right now is the Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie. He is virtually off sugar except for us Uncrustables each morning because they’re easy to chew. But he used to have 4 every morning with coffee.

Tomorrow morning I plan to make him a PBJ sandwich using peanut butter powder mixed with coconut water, 2 tablespoons of raw organic coconut oil, on Italian bread. Baby steps! Whole-grain bread will soon make an appearance.

Robyn is teaching me how to make the quality of Bob’s life so much better.  His coloring is no longer gray and sallow.  His skin is pink and his eyes are bright.  I am seeing him get back his sense of humor along with his appetite.  He does not have the constant hacking cough that plagued him all the time. He still coughs, but it is immeasurably better. I think his body was full of inflammation that is being cleared with nutrition. We will not “cure” the emphysema, but we can certainly make the body that houses those terribly damaged lungs a better place for him to live. If this gives us a few more years with a better quality of life for Bob, that’s another blessing in this journey.

As a side note, my carpal tunnel is almost gone in my right hand.  I had surgery for carpal tunnel in my left hand last year, and actually had surgery scheduled for my right hand earlier this year. Life events caused me to cancel the surgery. Thank God! I have (had) severe arthritis in my left thumb that the specialist wants to operate on to rebuild the joint. The pain in the base of my thumb is virtually gone.

I reach out to anyone who asks about what Robyn calls a “gateway drug”—green smoothies.  Okay, I’ll be honest—people don’t really need to ask. I find myself telling total strangers about green smoothies.

I talked with two people yesterday in a grocery store packed with people prepping for Hurricane Sandy, and gave them the website address so they could get more info.  There are five people in my office who have now progressed from the NutriBullet (gateway equipment) to the Blendtec and green smoothies for themselves and their families.

Robyn is on a mission, and the seeds she plants are growing in so many ways, but growing in the same direction toward health and a new happiness with life.  I see my husband and people around me changing…sprouted seeds.

I think Bob may be concerned about power failure in the storm more because the Blendtec needs electricity than for his oxygen concentrator! He says he has backup oxygen tanks, but no backup for the Blendtec.

God richly bless each of you for the work you do.  You have a special place in my heart and in my prayers each day.  You will hear from me down the road to let you know how this is changing our lives.

Bonnie Kauffman

Plants can’t be franchised! Canada part 2 of 2

A question I’m asked a lot is, “My green smoothies are always different and sometimes I don’t like them. How can I make sure they always ‘turn out?’”

Well, that’s the thing. We’ve standardized our tastes. Ray Kroc did it famously, with the first McDonald’s. The idea was to develop a burger and fries that appealed to the taste buds, then make sure that all the franchises produced exactly the same product. People could count on getting precisely the same thing at any McD’s they went to.

Kale just isn’t like that. It grows in different soils, in different climates, in dozens of different varieties. Different colors of green. Flatter leaves or curlier. Red or white with the green, or just deep evergreen, almost black.

It’s the beauty of the thing, frankly, in a Mickey-D’s world of homogeneity. I like the surprise of my salad or my green smoothie being different every day. I notice it and try to identify and appreciate the variety. Bitter herbs have healing qualities, I remind myself when my greens are less sweet and have more kick.

I try different greens, different superfoods. Arugula or carrot tops or radish tops. Fennel or lavender oil. Bee pollen or maca or aloe vera.

Sometimes our new, vegan, super-healthy GreenSmoothieGirl protein powder if I’ve been eating too much fruit.

In a salad, I toss in fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, vegetables, depending on what I crave, which sometimes tells us what we might be deficient in.

Here’s a photo of Kristin in a Toronto market, holding heirloom tomatoes. I love their crazy shapes and colors and the way you have to get creative with a knife to cut them.

I imagine most Americans wouldn’t even buy an heirloom tomato. They might be scared of what looks like a Frankenstein vegetable, wouldn’t recognize it as a tomato, because hybridized, homogenized, irradiated, gas-ripened, waxed produce of very few varieties are now “normal.” Back before we controlled our crops with chemicals and hybridization, we had interesting, varied, multi-color tomatoes like these. Fortunately, variety is starting to make a comeback!

Thick slices of heirloom tomatoes made another appearance in this amazing salad I ordered at the 360 Degree restaurant, the turning, panoramic-view tippy top of the CN Tower overlooking the city.

Thank you, our friends in Toronto who ventured the drive into what turned out to be a seedy part of town, for welcoming us to your country. First time ever. We hope to visit more of Canada in the next year.

Let’s celebrate and embrace diversity, not just the colors among people, but the colors in our food. I’ve said it before, and here it is again.

Buy local. Buy organic. Grow your own. Use heirloom seeds. Store them. Avoid GMO at all costs. Join the anti-GMO movement. Teach it all to your children.

Canada and the U.S., part 1 of 2

Niagara Falls, it turns out, is WAY cooler on the Canada side. The U.S. has spent more on its view of the falls, and even puts people on a ferry to go closer to it. But on the Canada side, you’re really close to the top of the falls.

Also. They have black squirrels in Toronto. The first one I saw, on my run along Lake Ontario, I thought was a genetic anomaly. Then I saw a few more.

They put extraneous vowels in words, the Canadians.

Inexplicably, they have the monarch of another nation on their currency. (Well, I GET it. Historically, I know where that comes from. But I don’t really get it—in 2012!)

Driving into Toronto at night is just breathtaking. The freeway comes in elevated, so you’re driving in, at high speed, through the middle of skyscrapers. Kristin and I were awestruck.

The CN Tower is the tallest building in North America. (Except the new Twin Towers currently under construction are going to be taller, which we saw a few days later in NYC.)

Kristin lay on the glass at the top of the CN Tower and I took a photo. From a safe distance, standing back from the dizzying height.

But, really, everything else looks…..very American. They have the same Taco Bell, KFC, McD’s on every corner. They have the same weight problems, and in the class I taught, the same issues with lupus, chronic pain, arthritis, cancer. And so much more misery, thanks to the second sentence in this paragraph.

I remember in Thailand climbing a thousand steps, past many Buddhist and Hindu shrines and temples, to the top of the famous Marble Mountain. There I found a local woman selling young coconuts to tourists, with a straw poked in the top. Her 2-year-old son was riding around on a tricycle. Drinking Pepsi from a can. I smiled at him and he tilted his head back and gave me the most adorable ear-to-ear grin. Revealing that all of his teeth were black and rotted.

American marketing genius knows no bounds. At times it seems to lack any moral decency, in the name of profit. Our biggest, most successful companies determined long ago to rot the teeth of toddlers in even third-world countries, introducing diabetes and cancer to populations who never knew it before.

And third-world parents let it happen, assuming that good things come from the richest nation in the history of the world.

Canadians, opt out of the worst my country has to offer. I love capitalism. We get to discern, within that sea of choices. Don’t choose our greasy, sugary, early death. It’s the underbelly of our prosperity. We’d be so much more noble and great without it.

As you can see from this photo right outside our hotel, the Westin Harbor Castle on Lake Ontario, Canadians do too far too much of what we Americans started.

 

We’re back from the Pacific Northwest! Part 2 of 2

Nona Springer send me this photo from my Portland lecture, with some of the many friends she brought with her, and she wrote this:

I went to Robyn’s last lecture in Portland and loved it.  I talked about 20 friends into coming to this one and they all loved it too.  Not everyone made it into the photo, but it was great fun to have Robyn stand in with us and be part of our excitement.

I have been green-smoothie-ing with my family for over a year and a half now.  We have never been healthier, and we made it through the year without a cold or the flu!  I changed my diet and with daily exercise was able to get off all diabetic and cholesterol medication!

My smoothies are the talk of The LDS Oregon Eugene Mission, and when we get new missionaries in town they come to my house to experience the phenomenon.  My last two children live at home and their college-age friends all come over and ask for green smoothies.  If I’m not home they look in my fridge to see if there’s a pitcher made up they can raid.  Wonderful!

Thank you for what you are doing.  I have been a promoter and demonstrator for the cause for at least a year and a half.  I have convinced many members of my gym to buy high-speed blenders and to make green smoothies.  I have some wonderful stories to share.  God bless you!

Nona Springer
Dallas, Oregon

Back row, left to right:  Judi Lambert, Marian Scadden, Robyn Openshaw, Roselle Mattern, Lynda Spencer, Annette Hurst
Front row, left to right:  Laura Dotson, Nona Springer, Laurel Woodworth, Nancy Rivers

All from Dallas, Oregon (except for Robyn, but we can claim her as an honorary citizen, right?)

Thank you Nona, for being an inspiration to so many people, and for giving me honorary citizenship, I accept! XOXO,

Robyn

We’re back from the Pacific Northwest! part 1 of 2

Just back from the Pacific Northwest, where our audience size has doubled each of the three times I have spoken there.

I had Couer d’Alene on the schedule so I could see my grandpa, but he died in May. We went anyway and spoke to nearly 150 of our friends, and then 230 in Seattle and 330 in Portland. Thank you all for coming; I always feel so honored that anyone would come, but especially those who drive a long distance!  Laura and Debbie will be back, the week after Labor Day!

Last year we promised ourselves that next time, we would stop for a few days to learn more about the area. We hung out with my college roommate, Paula, and Kristin’s brother and his wife, Todd and Lori. We went to a music-and-food festival downtown called The Bite.

We ran and biked along the Willamette; hiked in Seaside, Oregon; and picked blueberries in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge with its high waterfalls on Sunday on our way to the airport. In Seaside, the scenery got a lot better the second day we were there, when a whole lotta 6’4” and shirtless showed up for a huge volleyball tournament on the beach. Just as we were leaving.

Kristin and I were blown away by the hydrangeas in bloom everywhere, the easy public transportation, organic everything, and thousands of people on bikes…..we loved everything about Portland.

One morning I ran miles away from the downtown Marriott where we stayed. As I turned around to run back, I realized I was really hungry. Luckily wild blackberry bushes grow everywhere along the river banks and I had an amazing snack of huge, juicy blackberries, even if my arms and legs were covered with scratches.

What an amazing place. We are thinking of moving GreenSmoothieGirl.com there one day. (My only qualm is the lack of sunshine much of the year! But I discovered there are many tennis courts and clubs.) First we have to finish raising some kids here in Utah.

 

Colorado, here we come—and help for Aurora shooting and fires victims

As Kristin and I leave for the 10-hour drive to Colorado tomorrow, we are mindful of the terrible tragedy and suffering due to the shooting and the fires. Yesterday my team forwarded me an email about a woman attending my lecture whose daughter was shot in the face but has miraculously survived and has a good prognosis. My prayers are with you, Aurora.

If any of my readers are able to help, give through this organization recommended by the governor of Colorado:

www.givingfirst.org

Then write support123@greensmoothiegirl.com with the amount of your donation, and GSG will match.

We are excited and are loading our road bikes on the back of the GSG-mobile tomorrow, so we can stop and bike in Moab, and on the trails heading into Denver too. We passed them, longingly, on our way to Denver a year ago, and vowed to come with bikes this year.

 

See you soon, my Colorado friends!